When we work on self-improvement, we often try to “let go” of things, and most people agree this is best for us. If we rid ourselves of “items” or emotions that no longer serve us, we will be happier, more complete. Our brain patterns will change with our sacrifice, because we are sacrificing that which harms us.
But is this all we have to do? Is sacrifice truly the key ingredient to making ourselves one hundred percent amazing? We just have to give up something? The word itself, sacrifice, brings forth tight feelings by its mere mention; guilty residual from past accusations of selfishness, or perhaps inner pain stirs in the heart or head. Maybe our brains inherently remember the definition calls for the killing of a calf or offering something precious to God or other deity. Maybe we have so little that we cannot bear to lose more. Maybe our brains are a mess because of past life lessons. Not only do we have trouble seeing how much we actually own, we cannot even begin to see how much we have to offer, and what we can give.
I love Christie Marie Sheldon , Jennifer McLean and several others in spiritual healing fields. I believe that we need to bury hatchets, forgive and forget, and try to find a way to magnify our gifts and live our passion. As Joshua Bloom said in one of his interviews, “Science works, no matter what we believe.” We cannot deny that if we are out of tune somehow— if we don’t get enough sleep, we eat unhealthy food, or we stay angry for long periods of time—there are specific consequences. We do some serious damage do our bodies, our psyche, and even our relationships (personal and business). Sometimes, though, it is damn near impossible to bury a hatchet, especially when
I you a person so strongly desires to place that hatchet in someone’s back (or heart, or wherever). So, let us forget about all the heavy stuff. Just let it go for a few minutes, OK? This is not that kind of blog today.
I was raised in the Catholic Church. I have visited other religions, attended various churches, but when I take Communion, it is in the Catholic Church, and when I go home to my visit my relatives, we go to service in the Catholic Church. I’m not extremely devout, but people who know me believe that I have faith in God. I admit, most of the Catholic sermons are not like some of the “rock star” sermons I have attended in other churches. The priests are not loud, and their sermons are seldom entertaining. However, every now and then, we cross paths with a cheerful ball of heavenly energy , and it is an awesome experience. In a church where one is always expected to sacrifice our evil natures (sugar, bad language, Dr. Peppers), one priest changed my world of sacrifice forever.
“While giving up something is all very well, what if we did something to take something up?” He explained that if we could add something godlike in our routines, our actions would also practice spiritual self-discipline, and the bonus is that we would feel better about ourselves on more levels than simply emotional. And rather than explain this, I can give you ten activities to try. I challenge you to come up with some of our own.
Ten Ways to “Take Something Up”
- Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time for no other reason than you love him or her.
- Instead of taking the closest parking spot, park farther away so someone else (without a handicapped decal who is ill or weaker than you) can have it.
- You add something healthy to the meal before you have your treat. (Don’t you dare be a smart-aleck and say that cupcakes have milk and eggs in them, so that’s healthy; opt for a vegetable or two, a natural protein, and more water).
- Before you go out drinking with the girls (or guys), drink at least sixteen ounces of water before Bacchus’ ambrosia flows. Better yet, try drinking some water during the outing. This will help with the dehydration and hangover effect in the morning.
- Take inventory of what you haven’t used in the last six months, or even the last year (a sweater you did not wear, the pair of boots that looks suspiciously like seven other pairs of boots you own). Gather the forgotten or abandoned items, and give them to the charity of your choice. Now, you have more room to buy more items. J You’re welcome.
- Unplug from all electronic gadgets, and spend time with a loved one.
- Get a buddy to go for a walk.
- Write a letter to someone, and send it through snail mail. Yes, like for real, with a concrete writing instrument, on genuine paper, put into an actual envelope and a real live stamp (they have some pretty cool stamps out now). Think about it: when is the last time you received a “hi there” for no reason in your mailbox?
- Make something for someone to show gratitude. I bake, but that’s because I can, and the people I bribe like my goodies. Cards are usually another hit.
- Volunteer. For anything that you want.
So, here you go, dear reader: ten ingredients that I added to my own cupcake self. I admit, the boot sacrifice was hard for me. However, I am sure that somebody also found them wonderful, and wore them more than I ever would. Feel free to mull this over. Better yet, I suggest you try ONE way to “take something up” of your choosing for a week, and let me know how it goes. Brave? Awesome. Try two. Also, did you come up with any other ways to “take something up?” How did you feel when you did this? Did anything happen that corresponded with your action and emotion? I’m interested, so feel free to share!